Running Full Tilt

Michael Currinder. Charlesbridge Teen, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-58089-802-7
Currinder’s debut novel expertly navigates the complicated relationship between 17-year-old Leo Coughlin and his older brother, Caleb: “All I understood was that Caleb’s autism and cognitive delays meant that his brain made sense of the world in a different way than mine.” After Caleb’s unpredictable behavior makes them unwelcome in their St. Louis neighborhood, the family moves across town, which sets Caleb off and precipitates physical attacks on Leo. Leo’s only escape is to run—and he does, long and far. When Leo starts at a new high school in the fall, he goes out for the cross-country team and discovers a talent for the sport. Currinder lets his narrative unfold with the steady pace of a distance runner, allowing readers to gradually witness the joys and frustrations of having a neurodivergent sibling. The story is both tender and unabashedly honest in its portrayal of how Caleb affects Leo’s life. While the final chapters bring a tragic twist, the novel remains hopeful, and the resilient love between Caleb and Leo shines through. Ages 12–up. Agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 09/05/2017
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-63289-649-0
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